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Key role of ALPHA-RLH in the meeting between the European Cluster Alliance and the Commissioner Breton

On the 30th of June 2020, the ALPHA-RLH cluster participated in the virtual meeting between the European Commissioner Thierry Breton and the European Clusters Alliance (ECA). The aim of this meeting was to discuss the role of clusters in the framework of the economic recovery plan to face the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. As the Vice President of the European Cluster Alliance, Hervé Floch, ALPHA-RLH’s CEO and President of the Europe committee at Association Française des Pôles de Compétitivité (AFPC), was having a key role in the organization of this event and in the promotion of the actions of the European clusters in the economic recovery plan of the European single market towards a green, digital, and resilient future.

The Commissioner Breton stated clearly his willingness to work with the ECA, observing that “clusters are absolutely essential to accelerate the transformation that we are putting in place on our European continent, regardless where business is located in the EU.” He encouraged the clusters and the EU Member States to collaborate more closely, as the Member States will have to present their recovery plans to the Commission in the last quarter of this year. “You must be part of the recovery plans”, he declared to the ECA, for which the Commission proposes 750 billion EUR, 500 distributed to the Member States in the form of grants “You are the pillars of the bridge I am willing to build across all the internal market.”

Close partners of ALPHA-RLH, members of the ECA, expressed in their presentations their readiness to act in providing their resources at the disposal of the European Commission and requesting more responsibility and trust to implement industrial policies of the European Union. “Clusters are not a lobbying organisation”, emphasised for instance Krzysztof Krystowski, another ECA’s vice-president. “We are practitioners, doing business with companies.”

Clusters have demonstrated their potential since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, managing big groups of companies from different sectors at the same time and across different countries, in close and continuous collaboration with DG GROW, to help in this time of crisis and to look for ways of recovery. “In a moment where all the European members were closing their physical borders, we were able to overcome all the barriers”, explained Antonio Novo Guerrero, President of ECA. “This is how the European Clusters Alliance was born: as the coordinated efforts of the European national and regional networks of clusters to create effective and highly competitive transnational innovative ecosystems.” Now we are in a momentum for innovation in Europe, concluded Jean-Luc Beylat, President of the AFPC. “It is a huge opportunity to deliver and to reinforce the connections between the different European clusters to create a new European market.”

This videoconference was a next step in the collaboration between the European Commission and the European Clusters Alliance. Further actions will follow, as Commissioner Breton announced the launch of Euroclusters under the new Joint Cluster Initiatives in 2020/2021 helping to link ecosystems as innovation agents in cross-sectorial projects. As an active member of the ECA, ALPHA-RLH is fully committed to work with the new Commission to reach these goals alongside with its fellow clusters. The organisation of this meeting was a franc success as it gathered more than 1000 participants.

The meeting has been recorded and is viewable through this link: https://youtu.be/cWi0rhzADcE

European Commissioner Thierry Breton